There is one artiste who most music promoters have been eyeing for long but still can’t lay their hands on him. Popularly known to dancehall fanatics as Vybz Kartel, born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica, on January 7, 1976. Here is an artiste who has shook not only dancehall music scene but the entire industry with his sure-fire hits as well as controversy.
Of course, we have the likes of Sean Paul, Beenie Man and Elephant Man but it would not be complete if artistes like Vybz Kartel or Mavado have not made it to Zimbabwe.
It would be worthwhile for any music promoter or corporates like Delta Beverages who have in the past successfully hosted huge festivals like the Lion Lager Summer Fest to consider bringing Vybz for the first in Harare. At times the run-of-the-mill performers are not the only solution making money.
And one of the reasons Zimbabwean promoters cannot lay their hands on Vybz Kartel is that he is one of the hottest dancehall DJs to hit Jamaica by storm and is growing his empire at an alarming rate
According to mmusic.com, an online magazine, Vybz Kartel went to Calabar High School in the inner city of Kingston where he ran into trouble conforming to the rules of class.
At the age of 16 Vybz Kartel was expelled from school.
“Though having to be kicked out high school didn’t stop him from achieving a degree. Vybz Kartel attended tutorial college where he completed his education with high marks. Vybz excelled in math,
English, geography and literature at CXC levels.
“Even as a child Vybz Kartel had a fascination with music. At the tender age of five he used to ask his dad if he could twist the cap off the TV to see the artiste behind the glass. Lucky for Vybz having his two uncles in the business help motivate him to get his foot in the door.
“Having a keen ear for good sounding tunes he would study American artistes such as Will Smith and KRS 1 to broaden his horizon. By the age of 15 he was practising singing in his neighbourhood of Waterford, and then recorded his first single ‘Love Fat Women’.
“Success was around the corner but Mr Palmer need a name that would complement his lyrics. After watching a movie on Pablo Escobar, the infamous Colombian drug dealer, he decided to change his name to “Kartel”.
The magazine says Vybz Kartel was first noticed by Bounty Killer another famous dancehall DJ at the time.
“Vybz used to write lyrics for Bounty and since then it has been up hill. Bounty Killer said at one of the concerts that ‘there is extreme potential with Vybz’.
“One thing led to another and a year later he had worked with famous Jamaican artistes like Elephant Man, Wayne Marshall and Bounty Killer and was crowned DJ of the year 2002.”
Tensions arose following Kartel’s continued association with Bounty Killer’s longtime enemy, Beenie Man, including Kartel attending Beenie Man’s wedding to Bounty Killer’s ex-girlfriend.
An ongoing feud with Movado was ended after issues between the two camps started to erupt.
As the years are passing Vybz Kartel skin seems to be getting lighter. He has been accused for bleaching his skin with cake soap. Popular songs such as “Stright Jeans and Fitted” Vybz make reference to the issue.
He split up with business partner Cory Todd the man behind Street Vybz Rum. Cory said Vybz threatened him and he is not the same person that he once knew.
May 2011 Vybz Kartel continued to shock the dancehall fans with his new hairstyle. His new long extensions are down by his shoulders. When asked about his new hair, Vybz Kartel responded,
“Vybz Kartel is always unpredictable and be controversial, this new look is just me being me.”
Source: The Herald